Cancer Institute A national cancer institute
designated cancer center

February 2010 Cancer Center Bulletin

Director's Message

Dear Cancer Center members,

We hope that you will come to the all-day retreat to be held at Quadrus on April 7. We will feature two keynote talks, one by Brian Druker, the recent Lasker Award winner for the development of Gleevec to treat chronic myelogenous leukemia and director of the Oregon Cancer Center. The second talk will be given by David Hunter, Professor and Dean for Academic Affairs at the Harvard School of Public Health. David’s research is in the area of genetic susceptibility to cancer, and he is co-chair of the NCI Cancer Genetic Markers of Susceptibility special initiative. I would particularly like to engage members of our community in discussions about how we can take best advantage of the new technologies for genetic and epigenetic analysis that are rapidly coming on board at Stanford. Please save the date!

New Advisory Board Members
As many of you know, our external advisory board chaired by Ed Benz has been central to our planning efforts in the Cancer Center. We are very pleased to have two new members of the Board, Carl June from the University of Pennsylvania and Mike Kastan from St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Carl will provide insights into the further development of our immunology and immunotherapy program that will be particularly important as we institute a new search for a recruit in the area of cancer immunology. Mike has been on the parent committee for cancer centers, brings a pediatric perspective and has been highly successful as a cancer center director.

Ovarian SPORE Proposal
Jonathan Berek and I will be traveling to the NCI this month to launch our proposal for an Ovarian SPORE grant from the NCI.  These grants differ from Program Project Grants in that they have to be highly translational within each project and the individual projects do not necessary interact. They have become highly competitive, and we are excited to be at the stage of writing our own.

Seed Grant Competition for Interactive Projects
As I have noted, the Cancer Center is here to serve as a catalyst for interactions, and we are happy to support new ideas for program projects or interactive grants going forward.  We will be giving one or two $100,000 seed grants for ideas that will lead to new collaborations, especially those between or among disciplines, with a May 1 application deadline.


Branimir I. (Brandy) Sikic, MD, received a Presidential Medal for Science and Medicine from the President of Croatia, Stjepan Mesic, in the presidential offices in Zagreb, Croatia, on January 19. Sikic is Professor of Medicine-Oncology, Associate Director of the Cancer Center and Director of the Clinical and Translational Research Unit of the School of Medicine. The Presidential Medal recognizes his achievements in cancer research, and his contributions to medical education and cancer care and prevention in Croatia. (Read the full announcement and photo on the Cancer Center home page:

Michael Link, MD, the Lydia J. Lee Professor in Pediatric Cancer, was elected president of ASCO. Dr. Link conducts research on the biology and management of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Hodgkin’s disease in children and the treatment of sarcomas of bone and soft tissue.

Sam So, MD, the Lui Hac Minh Professor and director of Stanford Asian Liver Center, received the Outstanding American by Choice award presented by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services for his work to eradicate hepatitis B and liver cancer.

Sanjiv Sam Gambhir, MD, PhD, and Andrei Iagaru, MD, received a $1.5 million award from the Ben & Catherine Ivy Foundation for their project, “18F PPRGD2 PET/CT, 18F FDG PET/CT and MRI Evaluation of Response to Anti-Angiogenesis Therapy in Recurrent Glioblastoma Multiforme.”

Also, Gambhir recently presented the inaugural Saul Rosenberg Lecture at the Northern California Cancer Center. His discussed some of his laboratory’s revolutionary “Star Wars” techniques to find and destroy the smallest cancer cell clusters.

Best wishes,

Beverly Mitchell Signature
Beverly S. Mitchell, MD
Director, Stanford Cancer Center


(January 2010 Director's Message)





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